Family plunged into despair following Fly Jamaica accident


An 86-year-old woman is in a critical condition at a city hospital and her family is faced with a significant financial burden after she was injured during the emergency landing of a Fly Jamaica aircraft at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Friday last.

Rookhia Kalloo was travelling to Canada with her daughter and disabled granddaughter when the Fly Jamaica flight OJ256 was forced to make an emergency landing 20 minutes after takeoff.

The family was returning home after a four-week vacation in Guyana.

As a result of the impact, the elderly woman went into shock. However, she was taken to a relative’s residence with hopes of recovering.

“She kept asking where she was and she was totally like, ‘I don’t want to go back on the plane, I don’t want to go back on the plane’. Let her grandson take her in the car,” her daughter Lilawatie Persaud, who was also on the flight told News Room.

But on Sunday, the elderly woman stopped talking and was admitted to the Woodlands Private Hospital on Tuesday morning after her health continually deteriorated.

The doctors have since told the family that she suffered a brain damage.

Currently, Kalloo’s head is swollen and she is in a critical condition but the family has since spent over $500,000 at the Private Hospital and is now forced to transfer her to the Georgetown Public Hospital.

In explaining what happened on the flight, Persaud told News Room that approximately 20 minutes after takeoff, an announcement was made that the plane was returning to the CJIA due to an incident.

Persaud said everyone onboard started to scream and shortly after, the plane made a “hard” landing.

“The plane make two jock (jolted) before it landed in the sand,” Persaud recalled.

As a result, Persaud suffered a back injury while her mother cried out for pains in her head.

The family is in contact with Fly Jamaica Airways to return to Canada where they reside but given the continued deterioration of the patient, Fly Jamaica said there is nothing they can do.

The family also lost a wallet on the flight which they suspect was stolen by the firemen, who first responded to the scene.

The aircraft suffered a hydraulic problem shortly after takeoff, forcing it to return to the CJIA where it crash-landed.

An investigation is ongoing into the fly Jamaica accident which left at least six persons injured and several passengers still stranded.

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